Author Topic: Lurker working on Neapolitan/Home Oven  (Read 398 times)

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Offline RupertPupkin

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Lurker working on Neapolitan/Home Oven
« on: January 10, 2017, 09:35:47 AM »
I'm a long-time lurker who has been working on a Neapolitan/home oven pizza over the years. My results have improved *substantially* from following TXCraig1 and everybody else here, but I'm still not where I want to be.

Quick note: I've seen several other threads of people trying to do what I'm doing right now, and I know there's this outstanding issue of whether these threads belong in Neapolitan, NY or elsewhere. I think the rough consensus is that this is the best choice as long as a specific Neapolitan/Home Oven forum doesn't exist, but moderators should feel free to move to wherever if not.

The recurring probem I'm having is this: when I try to replicate a lot of the methods I see people use here, my dough ends up way too stretchy and tends to stick to the peel. Frankly, it just feels like the dough has risen "too much" and I'm fighting to keep it from rising more. I keep making modifications to try to address this, but the only way I can get a dough that's easy to work with is to either do a very short rise or let it rise entirely in the fridge, which (I think) impacts the flavor.

For the last round I tried to isolate this difference by making two doughs as follows. (Background -- I have been using a blend of KABF and Caputo pizzeria. I see it as a trade-off between Caputo being easier to work with but also not browning well in the home oven. Tentatively thinking that the next thing I need to try is just switching back to 100% KABF, but not sure).

100% 479g flour (70/30 KABF/Caputo blend)
 62% 297g Aquafina straight from fridge (so probably 38-40 degrees)
2.9%  14g Morton's salt
1.0%   5g Ischia (lives in fridge, put in dough 4 hours after being fed)

With one of these, I did a 22h bulk rise in the fridge, then split into 3 dough balls back into the fridge for an additional 20h, then room temp for about 2 hours. With the second, kept temp consistently at 58-63 degrees (thanks to TXCraig1 for the frozen bottle in the cooler suggestion). 22h bulk rise and 22h individually, roughly 60 degrees the whole time.

You can already see how I've tried to modify TXCraig1's procedure. I use a lower percentage of Ischia (1.0%) and even colder water (38-40). And yet my results are still the same -- the ~60 degree rises leads to dough that seems like it has over-risen. The fridge dough is much better in terms of how easy it is to use, but feel like I'm missing out on the flavor I'd like.

For baking the pizzas, I used a steel pre-heated for 90 minutes, and baked for 550 at about 3:40 apiece, including ~2:00 with the broiler on.

Here are some pics if they help. In order ...

1. Ischia 4 hours after re-starting. Is there such a thing as being too active? I just seem to need to use less of this than others report.
2. Dough ball after 22 bulk/22 individual at ~60 degrees. Looks like it has risen too much
3. Pizza made from this "too stretchy" 60 degree dough
4. Pizza made from the fridge dough. Was able to shape this one like I wanted. Just hoping I don't have to always resort to rising in the fridge.
5. Back to the 60 degree dough. Again, waaaay too stretchy.

The things I'm thinking about trying next are either lowering the temp of the cooler by using a second water bottle, switching to 100% KABF or lowering hydration. I'd sort of hate to lower the hydration as I've always felt like more hydration improves the flavor, but it's possible I'm wrong about that; I do see a lot of people here happy with 59 or 60%. Any thoughts from the members here? I'm still a ways away from where I want to be, so very open to feedback!